Do You Speak Tree? by Josh Oaktree

In April 2021, Josh Oaktree wrote a graphic novel for children called Do You Speak Tree? Do You Speak Tree? is a wordless children's book with a powerful message to its readers... save our trees! It's about a tree named Oakie who is distraught when he sees his forest being cut down. Oakie seeks out help from his friend Art and together they organize a peaceful protest to halt its destruction. Keep reading to discover what happens next and to learn how you can use Do You Speak Tree? in the classroom.

Language arts lesson plan and reading comprehension worksheet / printable for the children's book Do You Speak Tree? by Josh Oaktree. Graphic novel. #kellysclassroomonline

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About Do You Speak Tree?

🍎🌳 Author's Summary: If a tree falls and no one around cares, what do you do? Oakie the good-natured oak tree goes on an adventure to find help. But when Oakie speaks, would-be friends become confused. The problem is that Oakie speaks "tree," a fun visual language that no one else understands. That all changes when Oakie meets Art, an elementary student with a crayon in hand and a plan in mind to inspire the world. Will Art & Oakie save the day? That all depends... Do You Speak Tree? This book is an exquisite and thought-provoking eco-friendly graphic novel for kids. Its nearly wordless story makes environmentalism universal and fun for everyone, no matter your reading level.

🍎🌳 Title: Do You Speak Tree?
🍎🌳 Author: Josh Oaktree
🍎🌳 Illustrator: JosianeVlitos
🍎🌳 Publisher: Oak Tree Comics LLC
🍎🌳 Date: April 22, 2021
🍎🌳 Pages: 58

Do You Speak Tree? by Josh Oaktree

About Wordless Books

Wordless books are often overlooked as a valuable teaching resource. Since they have no words in them, they tend to get labeled as 'too easy' or as 'baby books.' Wordless books, however, reinforce some critical reading skills:

  1. Wordless books help improve children's confidence and independence while reading.
  2. Children have an opportunity to use their imaginations and practice their inferential skills while reading wordless books.
  3. Wordless books reinforce verbal skills by encouraging children to talk about the illustrations, ask and answer questions about the story, and retell the story in their own words.
  4. When children have a chance to talk about wordless books with other people, it helps with vocabulary acquisition.
  5. Children learn the importance of illustrations in wordless books... illustrations show us what's happening in the story and are more than decorations.
  6. While children read wordless books, they learn about story plots and structure.
  7. Wordless books can be a source of inspiration for creative writing and writing skills.

Story Elements

All good children's books... including wordless books and graphic novels... have characters, settings, problems, and solutions. As you look through the pages of Do You Speak Tree? with your students, talk with them about what they see happening on each page... 

Who is the main character?
What is the main character doing?
What is the main character looking at?
How does the main character feel about what he sees?
What is the biggest problem of the story?
What is its solution?
What are some critical events in the story?
What can we learn about the environment and environmental stewardship?
What is the overall message in Do You Speak Tree?

🍎 characters: Oakie, forest animals, Art, students in Art's class, Art's teacher, bulldozer operator, business owner, police
🍎 setting: outdoors, in the forest, at school, modern-day
🍎 problem: Oakie wakes up and sees that his forest is being destroyed by bulldozers, cranes, and trucks.
🍎 solutions: 1. Oakie organizes a protest with the animals and school children to stop the destruction of the forest. 2. Oakie and the school children work together to replant the trees that were cut down.

Creative Writing Minilesson and Free Printable

After reading and discussing Do You Speak Tree? with your students, use the reading comprehension activity below as a fun way for them to demonstrate their understanding of the story. 
  • First, have your students work independently on these pages to summarize and describe the important events in Do You Speak Tree? Have your students draw these events in each of the boxes (eight boxes in all). You can decide how detailed you want your students' drawings to be.
  • Then, have them partner up to share their stories with one another.
  • optional: Your students can cut out the boxes on each page and staple them together to make their own graphic novels!

Students can great a mini graphic novel or comic strip with this Do You Speak Tree Printable

To download a FREE copy of this language arts printable (two pages in all), please click on the image above. Clicking this image will take you to the Teachers-Pay-Teachers third-party website. This is a FREE download-- no purchase necessary.

Oak Tree Comics Logo

To learn more about Do You Speak Tree and to download the educator's guide that goes with it, please visit the official Oak Tree Comics website.

Did you enjoy this blog post about Do You Speak Tree by Josh Oaktree? If so, check out these other posts about more environmental children's books and activities:

search words: environment, environmental stewardship, ecology, Earth Day, climate science, reforestation, peaceful protest, protect the earth, protect the environment

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